By Christian ABURIME
In continuation of the ongoing reforms in the education sector, the Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, has said that the students will start evaluating their teachers.
The Governor made this revelation while meeting with the head teachers and principals in public schools across the Stat held an interactive session with these stakeholders at the International Convention Center, Awka, was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim
According to the Governor, the intention of the present administration is to make sure that the quality of education is elevated to a status that will increase Anambra public schools standards
He added that to ensure that teachers teach well, pupils and students will be allowed to evaluate their teachers and their teaching skills when necessary, through government-provided dedicated phone lines.
He explained that his administration is working hard to ensure that it will get to a point where even textbooks for children in public schools will be free.
The Governor equally pointed out that Public, Private, Community Partnership approach and introduction of patron’s club in public schools is imperative, to ensure quality assurance.
To promote the administration’s policy of technology everywhere, the Governor promised to provide government laptops as well as access to free Wi-Fi in all public schools in the state, saying that the goal is to rebuild the Public schools and project it as a model for education in Anambra State and beyond.
“We cannot build that liveable and prosperous homeland if we continue the vicious cycle where children of the poor go to schools with poor infrastructure and end up poorer while children of the rich go to better equipped schools and end up richer,” Governor Soludo said.
He decried that children of the elite attend highly resourced private schools while the children of the poor attend public schools which in most cases, are poorly resourced and supervised.
“The difference between the children of the poor and rich is opportunity. If the children of the poor are given an opportunity, they are likely to do better than the children of the rich.
“When I look at the faces of the poor kids in public schools, I feel haunted, I feel they are telling me unspoken words that their future is in my hands and I shouldn’t let them perish.
“To you Principals and Head teachers, these children are also telling you these same unspoken words.
“A child who doesn’t have basic education is lost for life. At least, let he or she be able to read and write,” the Governor stated.
He urged teachers to be part of the disruptive process to lift the burden from the poor parents and guardians of the children in public schools.
“The motto of our political party APGA under which platform I am Governor is “onye aghana nwanne ya”, meaning we should be our brother’s keeper.
“This is part of what we are doing and the government cannot do it alone. Private citizens control almost 98% of Anambra’s resources while the government controls only 2%. Therefore, we are going to get communities involved.
“Soon the rich will not be able to sleep because the poor are hungry and angry. The rich in various societies must begin to care for the poor. If we do not take care of the poor today, our own children will not be able to walk down the streets. It is in the interest of the rich and it is their responsibility to take care of the poor.
“Wealth is about having the heart to give because nobody ever has enough,” Governor Soludo said.
He added that the present administration will come up with an independent evaluation mechanism that will comprise professionals to rank schools and create a platform where students, parents and communities will begin to evaluate schools and teachers.
During the question and answer session, the Governor was informed that the running cost for the schools were low and he immediately pronounced an increment of the monthly running cost for Principals and Headteachers from ten thousand naira to a minimum of fifty thousand naira (N50,000).
According to the Governor, the pronouncement was to ensure that the new policy of abolishment of all fees and levies payable in public schools is carried out, reiterating that pupils from nursery one to primary six and students from JSS one to JSS three has been canceled.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, described the Governor as someone who is passionate about serving and who is always working to find solutions to problems in the state, including the educational sector.
Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, Head of Service, Barr. Theodora Okwy Igwegbe, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon Tony-Collins Nwabunwanne, Chairman PPSSC, Prof. Nkechi Ikediugwu, Chairman ASUBEB, Dr. Vera Nwadinobi, Chairman ANCOPSS, Mr. Joe-vita Arazu, Chairman, Head Teachers, Mrs Josephine Chikwendu, among others attended the event.